Today Shiitake is considered a valuable culture and is cultivated in many countries around the world, including Europe. Besides being delicious food as an alternative to ordinary mushrooms, Shiitake also has medical value.
The results of most studies confirm the immunomodulating image of the Japanese mushroom. The most valuable ingredient in the Japanese mushroom is the polysaccharide lentinan.
This is 1-3 beta-glucan, which shows promising anti-cancer results in studies with mice.
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What Is Shiitake (Japanese Mushroom, Huang Mo)
The wild mushroom Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) is common in Japan, China, and other Asian countries, where it usually grows on the deadwood of fallen trees. Today Shiitake is considered a valuable culture and is cultivated in many countries around the world, including Europe.
Besides being delicious food as an alternative to ordinary mushrooms, Shiitake also has medical value. In the history of traditional Japanese medicine, there is information on how in II-III century BC emperor Chuay received.
Shiitake and the knowledge of its use as a gift from the indigenous people of ancient Japan. The Shiitake mushroom, however, has been known in China before that time. It was called Huang Mo there.
What Do We Need to Know About the Active Ingredients of Shiitake
The most valuable ingredient in the Japanese mushroom is the polysaccharide lentinan. This is 1-3 beta-glucan, which shows promising anti-cancer results in studies with mice.
Unlike many other anti-cancer agents lentinan does not directly attack the cancer cells but adjusts the immune system against harmful tissues.
Another interesting ingredient in Shiitake is lanthionine: the substance, which gives the exotic flavor of the mushroom.
Purpose and Health Benefits of Shiitake
Except as in edible form, Shiitake can be taken in the form of dry extracts, tinctures. Lentinan is sold separately from the Shiitake extract as specialized medicine against cancer.
All the problems where Shiitake has proved itself to be effective are connected in some way with the human immune system.
The results of most studies confirm the immunomodulating image of the Japanese mushroom.
Proven Benefits From the Intake of Shiitake
- Anticancer effect: Japanese physicians have long used the reinforcing effect that lentinan has on the immune system to fight tumors. In particular, it has been found that the polysaccharide makes the immune cells produce interleukin (like the Reishi mushroom) and the so-called "tumor necrosis factor." The different types of cancer are affected in various degrees by the treatment with lentinan, but even in the case of the lethal outcome, the invigorating polysaccharide extends the life of the treated patients with more than 150%.
- Adaptogen, recovering agent: The Japanese physiologists use the Shiitake extract in the fight against chronic fatigue syndrome when the latter is due to the low level of specific cytotoxic lymphocytes called with the interesting name "natural killer cells."
- Immune modulator, immune stimulator: Shiitake is known for its favorable action in the fight with colds. The fungus stimulates the production of interferon, which has an antiviral effect.
Are There Side Effects and Contraindications From the Intake of Shiitake
Shiitake has been widely used in Japanese and Chinese cuisine for more than 3000 years. So far there have been no serious side effects.
Some people may experience gastrointestinal discomfort after consumption.
What Shouldn't We Combine Shiitake With
No evidence of drug interactions. It has proved its safety when taken by healthy people.
There is no data on the safety of the impact on the health of nursing mothers, pregnant women, and their fetus.
Necessary Dose and Way of Intake
There is no precise established daily dose. It is best to follow the instructions of the product containing Shiitake.
The typical dose is 6 to 16 grams of dried Shiitake mushroom daily or a dose of 1 to 3 grams of the dry extract three times daily over a long period.
In Which Sports and Health Supplements Can We Find Shiitake
Besides in standalone formulas, you can meet Shiitake in complex adaptogens, prophylactic anti-cancer supplements, immunostimulants and immunomodulators with herbal nature, and others.